- Africa Infrastructure Fund closes $500m equity to speed up agric investments
- $175m Africa Guarantee Fund equity transaction reaches financial close to support SMEs
- $350m for South Africa’s beef agro-processing project
President Cyril Ramaphosa played the perfect host here in Johannesburg, South Africa Monday as the gathering of investors, business men and women as well as leaders of governments and international organisations created the right atmosphere for the opening of the second edition of the Africa Investment Forum.
The opening and the caliber of delegates gathered created the opportunity for the organisers to reveal how the forum has lived up to its promise following what has transpired since the first edition was held.
For instance, it was revealed that some of the deals consummated in 2018 had moved to closure with the $500 million equity deal presented by the Africa Infrastructure Investment Fund, to speed up investments in agriculture, and a $175 million equity transaction from the Africa Guarantee Fund for investors to support Small and Medium Size Enterprises, being among the transactions that found financial close over the past year.
Presidents Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa; Nana Akufo Addo of Ghana; Paul Kagame of Rwanda; and Prime Minister Agostinho do Rosario of Mozambique were present at the opening.
“The time is now to move with speed to ensure that we unlock our potential…Indeed our continent is ripe for investments, but more importantly, it is also brimming with enormous profitable opportunities,” said President Ramaphosa in his address, further urging investors to move beyond pledges.
The AIF, an innovative, multi-stakeholder transactional marketplace conceived by the African Development Bank which aims to raise capital, advance projects to bankable stage, and accelerate financial closure of deals.
“As the investor community, your presence here shows your unwavering will to help us and support us to succeed. I invite you, therefore, to join us as we pass the flickering torch of progress across every border of this great continent until the light of development and economic prosperity illuminates every African village, every African town, every African city, in every African household,” he said.
A total of $38.7 billion were secured investment interests during the maiden edition last year in less than 72 hours.
“A lot of progress has been made on these investment interests,” with a highly dedicated team of partners working around the clock to accelerate financial closure for transactions,” said Akinwumi Adesina, the president of African Development Bank.
One of the transactions put on the table last year was the $600 million transaction for COCOBOD to help improve processing and value addition for cocoa, which was disclosed as having also reached financial close, and is expected to be signed during the ongoing edition of the Forum. The forum also revealed that a $350 million South Africa beef agro-processing project has reached financial close.
“Promise made, promise kept,” Adesina said, noting Ashish Takkhar of Mara Phones whomade a commitment during the 2018 Forum, also delivered.
“In 2019, he delivered,” he said.
“It is a new, more confident Africa. A continent now aware of its place in the world and determined to be a global investment haven. And Africa is harnessing investors’ interests and investments. Welcome to the Africa Investment Forum, the place to be for investors,” he said.
Among the leading figures attending the forum are the Premier of Gauteng province, David Makhura; Tito Mboweni, Minister of Finance and African Development Bank’s Governor for South Africa; Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Minister of Cooperative Governance & Traditional Affairs and Ibrahim Mayaki representing the chairperson of the African Union Commission. Minister Philip Mpango from Tanzania; Minister Jean Jacques Bouya from the Republic of Congo; Mr. Vital Kamerhe from the Democratic Republic of Congo were among the high-level delegates who took part in the opening ceremony. Also in attendance are the Executive Governors from Nigeria, including Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State; Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State, and Adulrahman Abdurazaq of Kwara State.
After the opening ceremony, Masai Ujuri, President of the Toronto Raptors; Ashish J. Thakkar, CEO of Mara Group and Tokunboh Ismael Managing Partner of Alitheaia IDF Fund shared their views on progress made since 2018.
The Africa Investment Forum inaugural edition was launched in 2018 in partnership with Africa50, Afrexim Bank, the Trade Development Bank, the Development Bank of South Africa, the Islamic Development Bank, the Africa Finance Corporation, the European Investment Bank.